105k snatch

a caveman's finesse

n: 1.) strength training like a fucking caveman

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NORIK VARDANIAN
105k snatch
cavemanfinesse
Norik Vardanian was one of the rising US 94k lifters circa 2004-2005ish before he got injured and was pretty quiet through 2006 and 2007 save for some "mediocre" (I use this term very loosely) performances. It wasn't until very recently that he re-appeared in great form at the 2008 Arnold Classic and USAW Senior Nationals and totaled 355k - which I think matches the hitherto unchallenged Jeff Wittmer's best total. A week or two before this a vid was released on youtube with Norik jerking 195 in training, so it looks like the only place he's going is up.

Norik Vardanian's dad is former Soviet great Yurik Vardanian, who snatched 171k at like 83 or something back in the 80s. They both pull the same way, back angle increases through the first pull and the amortization phase, and a very linear bar path through the second pull.

Today I snatched up to 90k and attempted to waveload up to it again but didn't accomplish this.

Power cleaned and jerked up to 105k, attempted 110k again and didn't even rack it. Squat cleaned it and missed the jerk. Power cleaned and jerked 100k, then 105k again. Attempted 105k again and only squat cleaned it. Dropped down to 70k and worked my way back up for doubles, eventually taking 90 and 95k smoothly, but 102.5k for just a single.

Study breaked, then low-bar back squat.

140k for 5, 150k for 2, 1, 2, stopped.

Pressed 60k for 5, 65k for two singles, then 67.5k for a single.

Pull ups, +45lbs for 5, +50lbs for two triples, then reverse hypers ... this chick I went to high school with was there with her boyfriend, SHE IS SO HOT.

So-so training session, I swear I'm good for like a 110k power clean and I'll be goddamned if I don't pull it out in the next couple weeks.

Eating and going to bed.

he's definately the best america has, but on the international level 355 at 94 won't win anything. Zhang Guozheng totaled 347 kg at 69 recently. the difference between father and son is that his father knew how to self coach via reading texts and feeling bad technique out and fixing it. in a recent interview yurik said norik still can't figure that out - i mean very few lifters have the intelligence and ability to self coach in this day (kono self coached, alexseev prolly also did). i think US weightlifting will have to rely upon the women or men (at lower weight classes) if they want to win.

Zhang is also doping, as are many of the 94k lifters who are currently ranked in the top ten - and i'm not saying this to take anything away from any of them, just that you can't compare results like that

i'm not saying the US will win much of anything any time soon, just that, given the conditions in which we are competing, we field some pretty decent lifters - 355k at any bodyweight is not something to scoff at, that is a total that is unobtainable for a lot of lifters

I'm just wondering how do you know if a lifter is drugged up? I mean I've heard people say oh Dimas is on drugs hGh, all this shit. but how do you know? I think the technique of foreign lifters is better and that's why they lift more in competition. I'm sure drugs that enhance recovery and such help their training, but they must be clean during competition.

other than the fact that he's totaling like five times his bodyweight?

there are a lot of lifters in the A sessions of World Championships who exhibit less-than-ideal technique - things like not finishing the pull, letting the chest fall down in the bottom of a snatch, the same mistakes that any other lifter in the world can make. and obviously there are some lifters with very good technique, like Ilya Ilin and Szymon Kolecki in the c+j and Marcin Dolega and Andrei Rybakou in the snatch, but compare Ilin's c+j to Kendrick Farris's or Rybakou's snatch to Casey Burgener's and tell me what makes their technique so much better.

here's the thing: every World Championship, something like half a dozen athletes get caught for doping and are suspended or banned. even our favorites and the guys we look up to, Taner Sagir and the entire Turkish team including Halil fucking Mutlu were caught in 2004 and suspended for 2 years, Galabin Boevski is now banned for life, Kolecki was suspended just before Athens for testing positive for nandrolone which is why he disappeared from competition until 2006, Dmitry Berestov, probably my favorite c+jer, took gold in Athens at 105k and was busted in 2006 ... every single one of these guys lifts in the A sessions of international competitions and it's hard to imagine that they are the only ones

athletes use diuretics, presumably to aid in dropping weight for competition, but they also "flush" the system, which is why they were put on the banned substances list ... there's some stories floating around of guys straight up dodging drug tests ...

again, i'm not protesting against the state of the sport, but lifting on an international platform is a lot different from lifting in the US. there have probably been a few US lifters busted for doping, but i'm willing to bet the numbers are miniscule in comparison to China, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, etc. and the only US lifters i've heard about recently are someone getting busted for pot, and then a girl getting caught with Adderall.

I'm talking about things like clean recovery, speed under the bar, meeting the bar and riding it down, speed off the floor, etc. I've watched a good number of US lifters, and for the most part foreign lifters are just better at these things. Of course i'm watching the world champs, not some average B class lifter. Hence I'm biased in so many ways, but the technique flaws of top international lifters are not as "fundamental" as those found in US lifters. Regardless even miliseconds and 1-3 degrees in joint angles can make or break a lift at the olympic level, hence even if the Americans were close - it wouldn't be enough to win. Yet right now the Americans aren't even close. On Glenn PEndlay's blog there was a claim that Americans are strong, yet they do things like overpull - e.g. try to use strength over technique. I'd say that Ilin pulls the bar lower than Farris, but is much faster in the knees under the bar right into the pulling onself under the bar. Farris also has an unconventional hybrid jerk. I have no clue if that helps or hurts because it's untested biomechanically or emperically in competitions. Suppposedly Ilin is on drugs, but supposedly to Americans everyone is on drugs but them. It's a convenient excuse to make when you're not on top. This is coming from a country where so many people use drugs in the NFL, MLB, track, etc.

all flaws in the lifts are fundamental

milliseconds and a couple degrees either way don't make or break lifts at any level. Rybakou had to chase his world record 187 snatch last year - far from perfect technique.

there are also quite a few coaches in the US who came from other countries ... Dragomir Ciorsolan, former OTC head coach, was a European Senior Champion from Romania. if the US conceptualization of the snatch and clean-and-jerk weren't effective, wouldn't a foreign lifter have been able to rectify that? if there was something wrong with the US training methods, wouldn't a former European gold medalist do something about it?

OK Weightlifting's head coach in Austin is Oleg Ketchko, an Olympic medalist from Belarus - his lifters are good, but their technique isn't any more sophisticated or complex than what you'd see from any other club with a competent coach

your comparison between Ilin and Farris is arbitrary. good foreign lifters catch the weight both high and low; a lot of Chinese lifters practically power clean the weight, Galabin Boevski had a lot of room to spare in his squat cleans, etc.

superior technique is not what separates the US and non-competitive countries from the top dogs - the sport is much bigger in Turkey, China, Bulgaria, where weightlifting is actually significant in comparison to sports like soccer. world champions can make a living in those countries. they're actually a big deal. in the US, USAW isn't a blip on the radar when you compare it to the NFL or NBA.

there is no money in this sport, US weightlifters aren't going to make money from medaling, so the pressure to dope isn't as bad, not to mention drug testing is a lot more stringent in USAW than it is in the IWF, and in any other sports governing body in the US

if anybody was using steroids as an excuse, they wouldn't still be going balls-to-the-wall in training and competition

I disagree. I think milliseconds and a couple degrees will break or make a lift at high levels. The entire movement takes place in under 1 second, things like the double knee bend take place in miliseconds. The probability of making a lift conditional on some epsilon ball around optimal technique is much higher than the prob of making a lift cond on a C>epsilon deviation of opt tech. Is it possible to make a lift with bad technique - yes. But it's also possible to win the lottery, to get hit by a semi, etc.

Some technique flaws are more costly than others. By fundamental I mean things that almost all lifters agree (along with biomechanical evidence) that need to be part of a sound lift. Americans seem to violate more of these fundamentals.

There is documentation that a couple miliseconds and joint angle degrees are key differences between successes and failures (although it might not be the only difference).

Breaking WR with a power clean? Unheard of. Chinese lifters rack the bar very quickly and ride it down (good technique) on their earlier attempts. Saying they PC in competition for limit lifts is ridiuclous. They do PC in training vids, but so do many lifters. If a lifter can pull a Z weight X high, yet it only takes Y high to clean it. where X>Y. then the lifter could put on epsilon more weight such that they clean Y high and lift the higher weight given technique stays constant.

Lastly no one credible makes the claim that the US has superior technique to foreigners yet they still lose. You would think this would be a common argument if the US had comparalbe technique.

Do you think a person with 10,000 hours in weightlifting would have good technique, or a person with 100,000 hours in weightlifting (weightlifting can be anything like violin, or any skill)? The fact is Chinese, Bulgarians, Russians, etc have put in more hours. Of course they would have better, more consistant technique. These guys start at like age 6 and are taught by coaches AND olympic champs like Zhang and Shi. I don't think a couple thousand sessions with a foreign caoch will make a US guy a champ. Maybe if he was talented and started with that coach at 6 and trained 10 hours a day. yeah .. maybe then. Case and point American gymnastics - Americans started to train from early ages with foreign coaches (like Bella) for hours and hours (home schooling). Americans have talent (their pool size can offset certain limitations in infrastructure), but they have not put in the time.

I don't think you've watched an entire A session before. Foreign lifters miss lifts all the time. They're not super consistent or perfect unless they're really good, just like what you'd see from any group of US lifters.

You can believe what you want about how exact a lift needs to be at a high level - but if that were true there wouldn't be so many deviations in technique like there are now. The Chinese don't pull the same way as the Bulgarians. The Bulgarians don't pull the same way as the Poles. Marcin Dolega does not pull the same way as Szymon Kolecki.

what flaws do Americans exhibit more than foreign lifters? and what flaws are more costly than others? anything done wrong enough will result in a missed lift.

and what documentation is there for minute differences in timing and joint angle making the difference between success and failure?

no one's claiming US lifters have superior technique, but you're talking like they're doing a lot of things wrong when they're not really that far down the ladder

about how high lifters rack the bar; I was referring to your analysis of Ilin vs. Farris. you said Ilin pulled the bar lower but got under faster, but the relative height to which a lifter pulls the bar and gets under is not indicative of greater or lesser skill. i used Chinese lifters as an example; if they're riding the weight down, they pulled it much higher than they really needed to squat clean it, because obviously there's more distance for them to get under the bar. then there's guys like Galabin Boevski and even Hossein Rezazedeh who do the same. i understand what you're saying with the math equation but there are some world champs who have squeezed into a very small space while getting under the bar, and some world champs who have made room to spare in the pull

i don't know why you're putting foreign weightlifting methodology on a pedestal. if you really think they're doing something different in coaching and technique from what US coaches are doing, and that's the key to their success, that's fine.

Chinese athletes have admitted to doping, the IWF suspends athletes from the countries you say train better pretty much every year for doping. i just don't think that's a matter of coincidence.

http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sportivny/library/farticles011.html
For technical aspects of the double knee bend.

There is an optimal path for the barbell to travel which is usually unique to an individual's body type. I'm not saying everyone should snatch and clean in the same line. I'm saying that for a particular individual there is an optimal technical line. That's just physics. But for the MOST part the line is pretty similiar even across some diverse body types.

Let us say a lifter can lift X weight if he is within epsilon(X) of the optimal line. There is some slight deviation which is possible when lifting. But the intuition is simple, the smaller the deviation from the line the higher the expected value of the weight lifted. Hence the closer an athlete is to his own optimal line, the more likely he is to consistantly total high numbers.

Now what does it take to develop this line? Good coaches, talented athletes, and thousands of hours in practice. The main problem with USAW is coaches and the practice to develop good technique. Most people in America don't have that great coach and training from 6 with a specialized school system. Even if we got Tommy Kono to teach some kids from age 6, it would take a really long time to see results. I think Kono says the US women are easier to teach compared to the men cause they listen and follow technique cues better. Don't quote me on that tho, but they sure do look better and place better.

As for some points about emperical evidence. Athletes do what they can to win sometimes in an economical way and sometimes not. Sometimes it's jsut about winning and not the weight. Competition and sports mentality is not what I'm here to discuss (although it's a very cool topic). But I think the theory and intuition of pulling X high is straightforward (even if it may not always happen in practice).

Americans need to take what they can from foreigners and from that create their own system. I think foreigners focus less on brute strength compared to Americans (possibly because they're doping and can recovery). Think of the great American powerlifters like Shane, etc. I think there are many strong Americans. Yet the Americans can't be the Bulgarians. They can't because of drugs, but because of infrastructure and other things. But the Americans can learn from the Bulgarians. I think that's why Korea does pretty well - they've taken what they can from the Chinese/Russians and have damn good technique (the jerks sorta are iffy tho).

the purpose of Bud's article on the double knee bend wasn't to establish specific values to achieve as far as time and position, but to facilitate the conceptualization of proper technique - should the first pull be performed intentionally slow or should the athlete try to move the bar with the highest velocity possible? the time values he gives were used to illustrate that point. and the joint angles he gives for the beginning and end of the amortization phase lie in a range between 10 and 8 degrees respectively ... this is not that small a window. he wrote that article as an analysis of efficient technique, not as a guideline. the point of the article wasn't to say to reach the knees in .400 milliseconds and to bend them at 60 degrees, it was to say "don't pull slow off the floor, shift the knees around the bar but with a short enough stretching of the leg extensors to make use of the mitotic stretch reflex"

you keep thinking that lifters from Russia and Bulgaria and China all have very small deviations from their optimum line when they aren't as consistent as you think. they miss lifts and make bad attempts in competition, they're probably not even 90% consistent as teams. lifters of all nationalities have bombed out before. weightlifting is not and never will be as simple as a math equation

how consistent a lifter is isn't based on what country he trains in, it's an individual value. there are some top American lifters who are just as consistent as a Bulgarian and have gone 5 for 6 or 6 for 6 on an international stage on a regular basis - Casey Burgener and Natalie Woolfolk are examples of this.

US training methodology is not insulated from the outside world. the OTC resident athletes are said to train on a "modified Bulgarian system," and the assistance coach at the training center in Michigan is Chinese, as in he's from China.

you're mistaking higher results for better technique and better training when that's not necessarily the case. all things are not equal in the comparisons you're making between US lifters and foreign lifters. the top dogs dope. countries like the US either can't or don't.

I wasn't talking about the main point of the article, but various pieces of evidence he uses like:
"The training which develops the "reactive" nature of the shifting of the knees under the bar in the snatch and the clean is somewhat less than deliberate. "There is an unconscious perfectionism of this skill to move the knees under the barbell in the training process. The master of sport completes this phase in an average of 0.11 seconds; the classified lifter does it in an average of 0.16 seconds "(4). Therefore , the special literature devoted to the training process by which a weightlifter works to improve results in the snatch and the clean and jerk never mentions the "unconscious" improvement of the skill to shift the lower extremities faster from one position to another."

"R. A. Roman (31) analyzed three snatch attempts of Y. Zhakarevitch (USSR) with 188 kg success, 192.5 kg miss and 192.5 kg success. Zhakarevitch shifted his knees under the bar for the explosion in some 80 milliseconds. Of the three attempts analyzed, the "moving of the knees under was shortest with the successful attempts"(31). The knee angles changed during the shifting of the knees under by 16° and 17° on the successful attempts and by 20° on the unsuccessful 192.5 kg. On his successful attempts, "Zakharevitch flexed his knees significantly less than the average for other athletes (the average is 25°)" (31)."

This is technique. Yes you don't directly control it. You can't think it into existence. But it something that is gained via years of training. Consistency is done via technique work at limit weights. The fact is very slight differences CAN make a difference and often do.

As for the foreigners bombing. I think the reason is obvious and it isn't about technique. Foreigners dope... alot. I think everyone knows this. Bulgarian coaches have said something like always try to lift significantly more in practice (while on drugs) than what is needed to win championships. Once a doping lifter gets off / cleans his system for competition then numbers go down. He can't lift it anymore. He's off the juice.

I think the top 5 countries have better technique and better training. I think they would still win without drugs, but at smaller margins. Drugs can only help lifters develop better technique and have better training sessions (in some ways). Drugs won't lift the weight for them. I think it would be a very sad day in weightlifting if it was true that most world champions won with the help of drugs. Yes Americans in the golden days supposedly used drugs (not with the effectiveness and knowledge of today's dopers).

If you asked me 5-6 years ago why America is bad at weightlifting, I would have said drugs. I would have blamed some external factor for failure. I think now I try very hard not to do this. I try a lot harder to see what the fixable problems are. I don't think American can stop other countries from using drugs. What can America do? Get better recruitment, get weightlifting into schools, teach kids good technique instead of reverse curl cleans, put some money into weightlifting (commercialize it), put it on ESPN2, etc. I think when the international community sees that Americans have unequivocal better technique, huge talent pool, strict drug testing, great training program, etc. and if America still loses - then there is a big problem. And IWF will take notice and figure out ways to catch the druggies.

the difference in timing between the two levels of athlete is a reflection of the plyometric nature involved in the snatch and clean pulls. the timing was an illustration of that nature, that's the reactive nature Bud's talking about. the important thing is not the timing, the important thing is that the pull be conceptualized as "the faster the contraction the more power produced" which he mentions a paragraph above.

Bud notes that Zhakarevitch's joint angles and timing were a "technique peculiarity." this wasn't something that was coached into him, it was something that he did unconsciously. and it wasn't something that other lifters of similar training experience could replicate, he and Rigert and Vardanyan just understood the movements very well. this is not something that can be helped.

"Once a doping lifter gets off / cleans his system for competition then numbers go down. He can't lift it anymore. He's off the juice."

why is it that non-US lifters have excuses for inconsistent results and US lifters don't?

"I think the top 5 countries have better technique and better training."

you can think that, but it's pretty arbitrary to think so since all things are not equal in this equation.

Charniga talks about how the Chinese use unnecessary movements in their training - he says "... no one asks the question as to whether the Chinese do as well as they do because they do these exercises, or in spite of them. A good case can be made that the Chinese do well because of the intense competition rehearsal they practice, i.e., in spite of including some of these biomechanically unnecessary auxiliary exercises."

this sport is dead in the US. i doubt it will get better. it's pretty safe to assume that the US will not be as prominent as it used to be on the weightlifting stage, which is fine. the US never wins the soccer World Cup, either. none of that stops the people who do compete from enjoying the sport.

Kendrick Farris's best total is 155+201 for 356 ... other than Rybakou's ridiculous 392 because of that monster 187 snatch, 2nd place total was Ediev's at 372 ... Farris is not getting smoked by any means. a competitive A session snatch at 85 nowadays is about 170 (disregarding Rybakou, the dude's total beat like all but the top 2 guys at 94), and his c+j is already A session material when he's at his best

Chad Vaughn's lifted 146+190 for 336 ... top 3 at 77 last year totaled 363 or a few kilos less ... again, it's not like Vaughn's getting smoked to the point that he'll obviously never have a shot, he's less than 30k shy. Stoitsov only snatched 158 before he pulled a 205 c+j out of his hat

Casey Burgener finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th place with a 400k total. there were a few A session superheavies who did not total 400k.

it's not like US lifters are really that bad, they're just not monster lifters. and last year's results at Worlds were atypically bad - Farris bombed out which hurt the team ranking pretty bad since he's one of our strongest lifters

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